Heart diseases and their risk factors may go unnoticed if you do not go for regular check-ups and examinations. Visiting your doctor regularly to know your health status enables you to be on top of your health and identify potential health problems that can develop into something more serious. If you have a heart problem, it will help to go for an echocardiogram in Philadelphia at Corrielus Cardiology to inform the right treatment option for your condition.

What should I expect when I go for an echocardiogram?

When you visit your doctor for an echocardiogram test, they will do the test in the examination room. No special preparation is needed, and the test will not take more than an hour. Before the test, your doctor may ask you to wear a hospital gown. You will then lie on the examination table; mostly, you will lie on your left side. Your doctor will then stick electrodes on your chest to help in monitoring the rhythm of the heart. The specialist will then place an ultrasound device called a transducer while moving it backward and forward. This device sends soundwaves to the test monitor, which shows pictures of your heart. During the test, your doctor may also tell you to lie on your back and hold your breath for some seconds.

Why is an echocardiogram used?

An echocardiogram is an important device that helps your doctor to identify problems in your heart. It shows your heart's valves and if there is any abnormality in the amount of blood the heart pumps. It also shows whether the heart has any disease. Your doctor may recommend an echocardiogram when:

  • You have symptoms of heart disease.
  • If you have ever had heart surgery or a heart problem.
  • If you have had a disease of the valves.

How should I prepare for the echocardiogram test?

When going for the test, it is essential to prepare yourself. Depending on the type of echocardiogram test you will undergo, the kind of preparation may vary. For instance, during a transthoracic echocardiogram, you can drink, eat, and use your usual medications. Conversely, you will have to avoid eating for some hours before the procedure in a transesophageal echocardiogram.

It is also good to prepare someone who will drive you home, especially after undergoing the transesophageal echocardiogram.

What are the side effects of an echocardiogram?

An echocardiogram is safe and painless to use. Though the gel used in the procedure may feel cold and uncomfortable during the removal of electrodes from your skin after the process, the overall test has no side effects. This device also has no radiation like other devices used in scanning. However, you may feel some side effects from certain echocardiograms, such as the TOE. Your body will react differently to the different types of the device. It is recommended that you consult your doctor about this procedure. Ask them about the advantages and disadvantages and the options that suit your needs. You should not brush off any sign that may indicate a heart problem; it can be detrimental if left untreated. Visit your doctor as soon as possible when you notice any symptoms of a heart problem.

Author's Bio: 

Marina Pal is a renowned author and social media enthusiast.